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Peng activists fooled RWE & Co. bosses

What do business leaders tell when politicians ask about future strategies and wave with money? With a fake website, action artists have received blunt answers.

With a professional-looking website by a supposed “Federal Office for Crisis Protection and Economic Aid” (“BAKW”), members of the “Peng” collective have apparently gained access to business bosses. In the past, the activist group has, among other things, excited the federal returning officer with a fake page. Now executive floors of large companies have been deceived.

The new side of the nonexistent Federal Office was initially a mystery after the former “Bild” boss Kai Diekmann, who is now active in crisis PR, pointed it out. It looked very real, the Ministry of Economy itself initially even suspected fraudsters who wanted to make money in the Corona crisis. Research by Netzpolitik.org suggested that it is different.

“Doorbell on capitalism”

This has now been confirmed: “Peng” has made a name for itself and calls the action a “ringing prank in capitalism”. The group of action artists and journalists apparently wanted to use this camouflage to query the attitudes of leading managers for “radical change”.

What does an economic boss say about the question of whether supposedly constant growth is not at the expense of the future? And how does he feel about the idea that participation by the state could be important in order to give greater consideration to the common good? Companies were confronted with such questions by the supposed Federal Office, which designs future funding strategies.

“Federal Office for Crisis Protection and Economic Aid”: On the page there was, among other things, a quote from Minister of the Economy Peter Altmaier, data led to his ministry. (Source: screenshot)

The (real) Federal Ministry of Economics reported that several companies there reported contact. According to Peng, 30 large companies and corporations have tried, “quite a few” have arranged telephone appointments. According to information from t-online.de, there are several DAX companies among them. The surveys had been announced on the fake website.

RWE boss a “growth activist”

The CEO of RWE, Rolf Martin Schmitz, gave answers. The purely economic boss said that even afterwards to the “world”. The interview sounded like questions from environmental activists, the newspaper reported. However, “Peng” is active on many social issues. Jean Peters from “Peng” told t-online.de: “The activist here is the RWE chairman, he is a growth activist.”

That would show the contents of the conversation, which “Peng” will publish on Wednesday with information on further discussions. They wanted to confront the companies with it first. The insight should then be given at a similar address to that of the website of the Federal Office of BAKW taken from the network. The new address consists of the old address and an appended “hahaha”, which generally stands for laughter.

Faked RWE side too

It is then possible that statements by the RWE boss on the ratio of renewable energy to coal energy will also be found at the energy giant. An alleged RWE website went online on Monday, announcing a commitment to the Paris climate agreement with far-reaching consequences. But this page is also a fake, as the RWE press office announced.

Who was behind it was initially unclear. The given contact details and the imprint lead to the RWE Group. Among other things, “Fridays for Future” spread the page.

Fake RWE site: There, among other things, the machinery of the Garzweiler II opencast mine is offered for sale. (Source: screenshot)Fake RWE site: Among other things, the machine park of the Garzweiler II opencast mine is offered for sale. (Source: screenshot)

It also came as a surprise for Peng, Peters told t-online.de. “We have nothing to do with this, I didn’t know anything about it. But we are pleased that other pressing issues are also addressed in this form.”

On the side, RWE allegedly commits to the goals of the Paris climate agreement, announces the abandonment of the Garzweiler II open-cast coal mine and declares that it wants to be climate-neutral by 2025. RWE stated that it wanted to act consistently against untrue claims about the company. Hopefully the company will be climate neutral in 2040.

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